There is a trend of things called ‘Buddha Bowls’ or ‘Green Goddess Bowls’, but on a day out in Leeds back in March this year, my boyfriend and I went to a little vegetarian cafe called Roots and Fruits. It was somewhat hard to find because Google Maps decided to take us the next street from where it was, but we found it and it was busy given that it was small and it was also a Saturday. Either way, we sat down and ordered a ‘whole bowl’, which was vegan and very nice, although presented in an average sized bowl.
Suffice to say, my brain went to work trying to construct my own version of the dish, and in true Ted style, I amped up the size and the ingredients to be more than what they offered, but honestly inspired by their dish. I stuck to the idea that it should be vegan, and that’s what I have managed to achieve, and some little bits of tweaking as time has passed, has helped produce this version you see before you now.
My bowls that I use are pasta bowls from Tesco that cost £2 each, but they are worth it and they’ve had so much use even though they differ from the rest of my crockery. However, I believed that part of this dishes appeal, much like Buddha Bowls, is that the bowl is special, it’s different and used primarily for this type of dish.
So, a little bit of extra trivia: the dish is titled ‘Forbidden Rice Whole Bowl’ because the rice used is black rice, that was at one time forbidden to be eaten by the lower classes in China, and was reserved for the Emperor. It’s fairly expensive compared to other rice, (500g is £2.99 from Holland and Barratt), but it’s worth it for the occasional whole bowl.
The picture also doesn’t include the usual accompaniment of some blended avocado because this time I forgot to pick any up, but just imagine a nice big creamy green splodge. I mean, you could always use guacamole, but it usually has some level of cream in it, and ergo, will mean your whole bowl isn’t vegan, but it’s not the end of the world if you’re normally a meat eater anyway. So here goes:
1 tbsp Coconut oil
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 small sweet potatoes
1 cup black rice
3 cups of water
1 can black beans (240g)
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp cumin seeds, turmeric and cayenne pepper
1 handful kale
1 medium sized onion
1 avocado (ripened)
4 tsp mango chutney
1 yellow pepper (cut into batons)
1 handful baby spinach
Roasted Sprouts & Sweet Potato
Cut sprouts in half and cut the sweet potato into rough wedges. Add to a roasting tin with coconut oil and roast for around 25 minutes at 200C or 35-40 minutes at 160C
Soak 1 cup of black rice in 2 cups of water for around 12 hours. Drain off the water and transfer the soaked rice to a pan. Add 3 cups of boiling water to the pan on a medium high heat and boil for around 20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
Spiced Black Beans
Drain black beans and rinse lightly. Add to a pan with 2tbsp of tomato puree and the spices. Mix lightly trying not to mash beans. Add a splash of water so that the beans aren’t too “claggy”. It doesn’t take much heating through.
Slice the avocado and place into a blender with a quarter of the chopped yellow onion. Blend until a smooth puree. Add lime or lemon juice if not serving immediately to stop the avocado going brown.
Kale & Onion
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the onions and cook until starting to go translucent. Add the kale, you may have to do this in stages as it can fill the pan. Cook the kale until it starts to go crispy but not burning.
Place the Forbidden Rice to one side of a large pasta bowl. Add the Spiced Black Beans to the top empty quarter of the bowl. Add the Kale & Onion to the left over empty space. Place the Roasted Sprouts & Sweet Potato down the middle of the bowl. Add the Blended Avocado on top in the centre, along with some Mango Chutney above it. Arrange the Baby Spinach in an arc around the top and left hand side of the bowl. Arrange the Yellow Pepper cut into batons to the right of the baby spinach.